Whether ink or chalk, body or pavement, Laura Thomas finds peace in creating art across various mediums and canvases.
This year, Buncha had the opportunity to sponsor an artist at Chalkfest in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Not only did we have the privilege to have our name alongside such talent, but we were also able to get to know the incredible artist behind it!
In the tattoo parlor, Laura creates a range of art upon the bodies of those who come to see her. Whether it’s a nostalgic video game piece or a tribute to a loved one, day-in and day-out she leaves a mark on her clients’ lives. However, at Chalkfest, Laura’s portrait gave us a glimpse into someone who has left a mark on her life - Jacci Gresham.
Jacci Gresham was the first well-known black woman in the tattoo community - something that Laura felt very connected to as a tattoo artist of color herself. Jacci had posted a photo of herself years ago on her social media and captured the attention of Laura, which led to her asking for Jacci’s blessing to recreate the portrait in the future. “I wanted to share who she was,” Laura said, noting that she loves doing portraits and is always looking for interesting people to create in chalk.
With Jacci’s blessing, Chalkfest at Arbor Lakes was the place for Laura to realize her dream of recreating Jacci’s portrait. For two days, Main Street was closed so the public could come to admire the art done by artists from all over the world - even Ukraine! “I love the live performance aspect of it. To be able to bring something to life and have people watch and ask questions, along with the lovely comments we hear, is a wonderful part,” Laura shared.
Not only does she love the live performance aspect, but she also loves seeing, spending time with, and creating alongside her “chalk family.” “Meeting amazing people, sharing inspiration, and bringing smiles to people is what it’s all about,” said Laura. And it was amazing people sharing inspiration that brought Laura into the chalk art community in the first place. After an invite to a chalk group from the owner of the tattoo parlor she worked at, chalk quickly became Laura’s favorite medium, resulting in an 11 year (and counting) career as a professional chalk artist. Check out more of her masterpieces on her website: laurathomasstudios.com
Check out Laura's timelapse video: